One of the common parenting mistakes a child of divorced parents makes is relative to that dreaded question: “Do I HAVE to go?”
Divorced parents or parents that have never been married hear this question all too often. Hearing your child ask that question time and again can certainly get old after a while.
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Divorced Parents Should Support a Child’s Bond With the Other Parent
However, in most scenarios, it is best to encourage your children to attend parenting time with their other parent. This is quality time which helps them bond (or remain bonded to) the other parent. It also ensures that you are not held in contempt of court for violating a parenting order. You can also be accused of alienating your child from the other parent, or guilty of visitation interference, which is a crime in Illinois. The bottom line is that the court order must be followed, both to keep you protected, as well as for your children’s best interests.
Here are a few more helpful tips for divorced parents to remember while parenting a child of divorce in 2020:
1. Do not talk badly about your ex.
Just do not do it, ever.
Your children pick up everything you do, from the tone in your voice to body language, and if you don’t like your ex, I can guarantee you that they already know it. You don’t need to remind them of your dislike for the other parent they love.
2. Do not talk badly about your ex’s new significant other, family, friends, etc.
Just like the rationale in tip #1, the same advice applies here. Just don’t do it. Believe me, you are not making this situation any easier on your children by reinforcing what they already know.
3. Be there for your child to talk to or have someone available.
This could be a therapist, an older cousin, an older sibling, a trusted close friend, an aunt, an uncle, a teacher, someone. Your child needs an outlet to talk to about the things they cannot discuss with you, as they get older. It is healthy and having a neutral third party can help them work through their emotions, especially regarding things they may not want to discuss with you.
4. Try to get along with your ex.
This is not realistic in every scenario, for obvious reasons. However, you would be surprised at how liberating it can be for everyone to get along and push through the drama. The best tip for divorced parents or parents that are no longer together is to put the past behind you, so you can put your best foot forward in this new year!
Co-parenting after a divorce or break up presents added challenges to parenting, especially when your child does not want to attend parenting time. Contact Anderson & Boback if you have questions about parenting time or other concerns that arise for divorced parents.